Being a Light Unto Myself – Dayanand Bharati

A lot of water has flowed down the Ganga since that article about the addiction. I had transcended alcohol addiction and sobriety then. It is not quite correct that “I” had transcended them. Transcendence happened after “I” had failed absolutely, completely. Only through the power of awareness and watching, both had disappeared in a blaze of grace never to be seen or heard of again.

The first true transformation had happened in my life. It was real. It was a miracle. I was in awe, and the mind still cannot comprehend it, even now, because he was left out of the loop. I mean something that was such a strong destructive habit for almost half my life, suddenly just gone, evaporated like it never existed from one moment to the next. This was a key experience; I knew this key could be used to transcend the mind itself, and not just part of it.

Many changes happened right after this transformation. I was filled with love and gratitude. All doubt about myself was erased from my mind forever. I knew that truth existed. It was clear confirmation that transcendence is possible − I had experienced it − even on just this small scale of the personal mind, the impact was mind blowing, literally. I had been on the right path, I was not in some kind of spiritual illusion about myself, because even in all that time I had been with my master, I never had an experience that confirmed that I was on the right path, never proof, except his acceptance of me and my love and trust for him. Of course many other things happened on the emotional and mental plane but never this final proof, this dropping into another dimension, this falling out of polarity. But now this was it, the first real transformation made it all real. I was free now of all unconscious layers, free of the hidden influences that had directed this life so far.

I was conscious of myself as part of existence and no longer part of society. I was free of all the games society plays. I had nothing to do with it anymore; there was nothing I wanted from the outer world. Therefore, anxiety dropped away immediately, replaced by a natural trust in existence.

I was loved, accepted and embraced by life, I was ultimately worthy to be alive. I looked at myself now, not anymore at others. I had asked my whole life, the other, the woman, the mother image to confirm me, give me worth and value, love me, or the lover, to satisfy me, give me bliss and fulfillment. But I was asking a mirror image, there was nobody in this reflection, only my own projections, nobody really there, only the reflection echoing back, asking the same from me. As if when I look in my bathroom mirror and ask, “Do you love me?” What will happen?  Will the reflection say, “Yes!” No, the reflection will say, “Do you love me?” There was no other!

To me, this is best described by a small anecdote my beloved master Osho told once. I don’t recall in which discourse so I write it as I remember it. My master had a friend who had a butcher shop in his village. (It must be a made up story. No Jain, even an enlightened one, ever walks into a butcher shop.) Anyway, he liked the man and he dropped in occasionally to say hello. One day just before closing time, my master stopped by and asked how his day was. The butcher said he had had a great day today, “I sold all my meat except for this chicken here.”

That very moment, the shop door burst open and a customer rushed in, “Ahh, glad I made it. I have some friends over for dinner today and need a chicken.” The Butcher winked at my master and put the chicken on the scale, “$5.00 please,” he said. “Hmmm,” said the customer, “Do you have a bigger one?” Without hesitation the butcher walked back in his storeroom with the chicken, made some noise and came back with the same chicken. He slapped it on the scale and said, “This one will be $7.” “Tell you what,” said the customer, “I will take them both.”

Now, there is only one chicken. My master said there is always only one chicken. Asking for both will reveal the truth! That there is not two! Being alert, watching, looking, inquiring is asking for both.

Love this story!

The Steps that Led to Transcendence

I want to elaborate on the steps that led to this transcendence because this is a key that can be applied to transcend any duality. And, it can be used by anyone.

Before the transformation from getting drunk and trying to control it, I had always believed I was going in a straight line, from this point to that, from unhappiness to happiness, from addiction to sobriety, from dependence to independence. And to get there I just had to try hard enough, give it my all and one bright sunny day . . . it will happen. I will arrive at my final destination. I will be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. And when it didn’t happen, as I had hoped, the reverse attitude kicked in, no matter how hard I try, I will never make it. I will be never be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. But in the struggle to be free of the drunkard, I became aware that I was not going in a straight line at all. I became aware of the circle, going from negative to positive and back again to negative, from addict to anti-addict back to addict . . . from unhappiness to happiness back to unhappiness, round and round . . .

If I follow a straight road and keep going and going, I will eventually drive around the planet and arrive exactly where I am now. The same with the mind. Previously, I had never been aware of this fact, because the opposite was always hidden in the unconscious, half of the globe hidden in the dark night.

The invisible road appears non-existent, that is why it looks like it is a straight line. A half circle looks like a straight line going from dawn to dusk, from here to there. The other half is dark, unconscious, hidden, but somehow, through watching my mind and by trying, digging myself out of myself hopelessly, I had brought eventually light to that dark hidden part. I suddenly saw the whole mind. I stood apart. I saw the full circle not just a half. I became aware that they are one whole, one dynamic and not two separate things.

It changed everything!

If you make a circle, the end and beginning meet – only then is the circle complete. If you become a circle, whole, total, in you will meet the beginning and the end. You will be the very source of the world and you will be the very climax of the world. You will be both the alpha and the omega. And unless you become that, something is incomplete; and when something is incomplete you will remain miserable. The only misery that I know is being incomplete. The whole being tends to be complete, needs to be complete, and the incomplete becomes a torture. The incompletion is the only problem. And when you become complete, the end and the beginning meet in you. God as the source and God as the ultimate flowering meet in you.

-Osho, The Hidden Harmony, Discourse #4.

It is not that the mind saw that, he cannot, he is not able to look around the full circle, around the whole globe. The mind, just like the eyes, can always only see half, the front or the back, the up or the down. The eyes can never see front and back, up and down, at the same time. That is the limitation of the mind and body.

Only awareness can see all, no, not see, be all, rooted at the center with full awareness of all that is. Being aware of that, I could not be in illusion anymore that one day I will be fulfilled, that this mind would one day arrive at the destination of one side only, and stay there. There was no destination. A circle has no end, no arrival point, it just goes round and round, on and on, like the horses on a merry-go-round.

Understanding this clearly, the turning in happened, the “letting go” happened, the transformation happened. Addict and anti-addict evaporated into awareness, into the heart of being, because reaching anywhere was not possible. Choice was not possible. Choice was an illusion.

I would never reach one side because there is no one side. There are always two sides, like breathing in and breathing out. There cannot be only breathing in, or only breathing out. But the mind believes that this is possible, that is the illusion.

I would never attain fulfillment of any of my desires because they are all based in duality. There was no love waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, or security, or happiness. There were always both waiting for me. Love and hate, happiness and unhappiness, life and death. If I am in love unaware, hate is waiting in the basement for its turn, because love is based on hate and vice versa. They are each other’s contrast. How would I know what love is if I did not know hate, its opposite?

Seeing this, understanding this, choice was now irrelevant. I would always end up at the opposite again sooner or later. The illusion that I was going somewhere, that I was growing, winning, that one day I would arrive at my goal, was only an illusion, and that I will be condemned forever, lost in eternal despair was also only one side of the coin. It is like a chess player suddenly becomes aware that he is actually playing against himself, his own mirror image.

I became aware that I was 100% addicted to alcohol. I wanted to get drunk, escape, forget, period. And I was aware that I wanted 100% to get rid of the addiction, be free of it, period. And both identifications where mine. I was the only player in this game. I was aware of the player opposite as myself. I was my own enemy, my own competitor. I competed against myself, tried to win against myself.

But now the light was on. I saw who I was playing against, and I knew the next move I would make because the opponent was me, myself, my own mind. I played from now on with an open deck of cards, like playing poker with all the cards face up. You know exactly the next card coming up. The game is meaningless. There is no game anymore because the game consists in not knowing what card will be next; will it be a winner or a loser? That day, the game of playing and winning against the world collapsed because it was all me, my projection. I was the world and I was the individual because I projected me onto the world. The world was me, my projection.

The mind got it too! Once a fact is known, it cannot be reversed. Once a child knows by experience that fire burns, it will know it for life and not touch fire again. Once the mind knows 100% it is not possible to get fulfillment outside, it will cooperate and stop reaching out.

The mind itself inside of me did not collapse yet, only the mind going out, playing with the world, getting, desiring, escaping. Resisting the outside was now meaningless. I did not project the images in my mind onto the outside anymore, but the images themselves where still intact.

The conditioned mind fell onto itself. I was the center now and the world was the periphery. Before, I had no center. I was kicked around like a ping-pong ball on the periphery. I became a light onto myself; I could see where I was going.

Now I had a center. I was “in” but the center was again divided in itself, inside, into its own duality.

. . . .if you are wise, intelligent, and you know how to contain the opposites together in a deep friendly embrace, then thesis opposed by antithesis will create a new phenomenon in your being: synthesis. On a higher plane you will arise. In a deeper way you will be united. And then again, the synthesis functions as a thesis, creates its antithesis, and again, on a higher plane, synthesis. It goes on and on, waves upon waves, higher and higher. There are planes upon planes, and one can go on reaching. The ultimate plane is the total synthesis of your life. All conflict disappears – is not dropped, but disappears of its own accord.

 -Osho, The Secret of Secrets, Discourse #29. 

For me, the addiction to alcohol was the catalyst that pushed me into awareness, but it can be anything that the mind is addicted to. The mind is basically in its essence addiction.

What I am pointing to in this writing is that any duality can be transcended with deep inquiry and awareness.

The conditioned mind, acquired in this life, had been erased. But the ancient mind, the totality of the mind with its roots in the beginning of time, had not yet. But it opened the door to “The final ultimate synthesis.”

In deep gratitude to my beloved master Osho.

-Dayanand Bharati

See a related post How I Came to One-Mind.

I am Taking Notes on Your Heart

The following is an excerpt from Anando’s book, Osho: Intimate Glimpses.

What happened in these sessions?

‘I am writing notes on your heart,’ Osho said softly, as his finger traced seemingly random patterns on my chest. Once rubbing hard, he said, ‘Take note, Anando, this will be a signature for centuries to remember.’

‘I am doing telegraphy on a heart.’

‘What a notebook, that breathes! I can only write on a notebook that breathes.’

‘I am writing my notes in flesh and bones.’

‘I am writing notes to one who is crying.’

‘I am taking notes on your heart. Can’t you understand, Anando? Take note.’

I didn’t understand.

The ‘note’ giving was happening in a series of dental sessions in the last years Osho was in the body. There were 115 sessions altogether that I was present for, from May 1988 through to September 1989. Each one lasted around an hour, sometimes longer.

I was in in the most privileged position I could imagine, sitting at the right side of my master opposite his chest, in contact with his body. But it wasn’t always fun. Or easy. At times, that gentle finger on my heart became a fist and thumped so hard that it almost knocked me off the stool I was perched on. Three thumps, each accompanied by a single word said so forcefull that it penetrated to my very core. ‘Just! . . . Be! . . . Here!’

He told us that the dental sessions were just an excuse to work on the few of us present. ‘I am trying even in my difficulties to work on everyone of you, although I pretend that you are working on me.’

‘Am I a patient? I wonder. A doctor surrounded by patients.’

He loved us in a way none of us had ever been loved before, but he did not spare our egos. And he didn’t hesitate to expose our unconscious blind spots. It was master laser surgery—precise, and massively uncomfortable.

That was the point of course—to shake us out of our comfort zones, to expose the unconscious blind spots that attached us to our identities and ran our lives. It was what we had all come to him for, but when it was actually happening, I was not at all sure I wanted it.

‘You are the fortunate ones who can be so close to my consciousness,’ he said. Well, when we were in his line of fire, I am not so sure we did feel fortunate. I certainly didn’t, in those precise moments.

He knew he had only a short time left in the body and he said he was determined to work on us until the last moment. ‘Perhaps after my death too, I will have to work on all of you. One day I will have to leave the body. I am just hanging around. You have all loved me and I don’t want to leave you in the middle. My work is finished as far as I am concerned.’

He had a couple of basic themes in these sessions. At one time or another, all of us were told to watch our unconscious desire to be wanted, our unconscious asking to be needed by him. He said it was basically a problem with the female mind, but at times he said both the men—Amrito and Geet—were also asking to be needed. Another favorite theme was reminding us to be present (or rather, reminding us that we were not present). And reminding us that our place was our place, and we couldn’t change with anyone else—we could only be our own individual selves.

Then he hit our individual selves.

‘I am,’ he said with a chuckle, ‘ultimately your master. I know each of you to your very heart.

The devoted doctor sitting on the floor at his feet was often asked to stand up, and then immediately told to sit down again. Just like that, for no reason. ‘You are a scholar . . .’ Osho sometimes told him, which was about the biggest insult imaginable in our milieu. Osho also chuckled at what he called Amrito’s constant stumbling. And he commented on his drinking. (Amrito was somewhat partial to gin and tonic.)

The dentist, who was of course somewhat nervous and tense trying to do his most perfect work, was tortured for exactly that. He was focused on being a dentist, but Osho was being a master. So the dentist’s ego was hit over and over. Fortunately, Geet was also a devoted disciple.

Osho would constantly drive Geet to the point of frustration by refusing to comply with his requests to ‘Open’ or ‘Bite’, and then say to him, ‘Geet you are working with anger. Can you see your anger?’ Or, ‘Please do your job perfectly. You are not.’ Or, ‘Just do the best, Geet. I don’t settle for the small, the mediocre.’

He also worked on the fear and caution of Geet and the dental assistants, Ashu and Nityamo, constantly prodding them to increase the level of the nitrous gas, whatever the cost to his own life. He said he wanted to test them to see if they were ready to go to their maximum. ‘I wanted to test Devageet. I am still saying, Devageet, don’t be worried about death.’

He hit Ashu for being hard like Stalin, and Nityamo for not being present or for fear of going to her maximum.

His strongest hits, however, were reserved for Shunyo and myself. He honed in on the collective unconscious of women—the need to be loved and needed.

‘I am hard because I love you . . . I may say things that may hurt. I say them because I love you, and I want you to be individuals on your own. This whole idea of “wanting” is slavery, but man has forced the condition on women for thousands of years. But I am also determined to destroy this conditioning, at least in a few women.’

At first, he started on Shunyo, saying continually, ‘Yes, I love you. So stop asking.’ She of course had been silent, like all of us. But he said he could hear her asking over and over, ‘Do you love me?’ and it was driving him crazy. He kept sending her out of the room, and I have to confess I felt relieved that it was her and not me. However, having finally banished her from the sessions, he then started on me.

‘Just wait, Anando. Your turn will come. I am not even finished yet with Shunyo. I want you even to be finished by yourself. Just Be! Burn! Just be a flame.’

As I was stubborn, however, it took me quite some time to get the point. ‘Can’t you read your own unconscious mind?’ he asked me. Well, the answer was that at that time I couldn’t.

In fact, it took a massive hammering . . .

I am ashamed to admit it, but as soon as he started saying that now he could hear me also unconsciously asking whether he loved me, I just got up and left the room. Why wait to be thrown out? I thought. I was much too proud. I was immediately called back in, but not before I had had a glimpse of my unbelievable arrogance and pride. But Osho was amazingly patient. And compassionate.

But don’t think for a minute that compassion meant pity—no way. He was determined to crack this deep unconscious pattern, something he said had been in the collective unconscious of women for centuries.

I was still being resistant. My whole identity was built around my belief that I was independent and didn’t need anyone. But, as I realized later, that was just a protection, a cover-up for a longing for love that I felt I didn’t deserve and would never get.

At the time, however, I didn’t appreciate being told that I was also asking to be loved. In fact, I was so pissed off about having that particular layer of my unconscious uncovered that I became quite rebellious, and it wasn’t until Osho threw me out of his house for a day that I was ready to look at the matter seriously.

What happened is that Shunyo and I were told to pack up and leave Osho’s house because our unconscious asking was driving him crazy. Leave our privileged room in Lao Tzu House? That finally got my attention. During the move, which had to happen immediately, I finally touched the deep vulnerability and need he had been speaking about.

I was humbled—no, more than humbled; I was completely dismantled. I felt pieces inside me shattering, without the faintest idea of what was going on. There was just a feeling of a deep shift inside and at the end—fortunately and like a blessing—a beautiful peace. A few minutes later, I was unpacking in my new room, Amrito came with the message we could move back into his house.

In the dental sessions, Osho generally had his eyes closed. So I took advantage and closed mine also, unless he was speaking. However, occasionally he would open his eyes and if he saw that  my eyes were closed he would laugh and say with a chuckle, ‘Anando, again meditating’—obviously knowing that I was dozing rather than meditating. Once he said, ‘Anando, don’t close your eyes while I am alive.’

I remember the last week he was in the body, when either his doctor or I were always with him, twenty-four hours a day, as his body was so fragile that he used to fall. He was mostly lying in bed with his eyes closed. I was on the ‘night shift’, and after accompanying him to and from his evening Namaste in Buddha Hall and putting him to bed, I would lie there in the darkened room with him.

It was very tempting to fall asleep, as I had done earlier in the year, when Osho first became too frail to be on his own. It sounds like a very privileged position to be in (and of course it was), but every hour or half hour throughout the whole night Osho would ask, ‘Anando, are you awake?” Previously, this had disturbed me and finally made me really annoyed, as I never got any sleep, and in fact, that was why I had told Osho for the second time that I couldn’t do that job anymore. But in those last nights of Osho’s being in the body—even though I was personally in denial that he was dying—something made me stay awake, and I was always very happy to be able to answer, ‘Yes, Osho, I am awake,’ without any of my old annoyance.

And I really was happy to be in that strange dark situation with him. Previously I used to think about the sleep I thought I needed, or the people I wanted to see, but in those last days, it was enough just to be there.

After he left the body, I was so grateful that those last vestiges of my resistance had completely melted away in that final period. What amazing compassion Osho had to ask me to come and be with him every night for that last week even though I had said ‘No’ to that role before. I can imagine how devastated I would have felt if he had left and I was still unconsciously resisting him. In fact, a friend said Amrito told her that Osho had specifically called me back to the night shift in that last week because he knew he was leaving the body.

-Anando

From Osho: Intimate Glimpses, ppg. 36-39 and is available from Osho: Intimate Glimpses.

The World of the Gurus has Ended – Osho

My Friends and my Fellow Travelers,

I would have loved to use the Urdu words for the same, because they have a depth and a poetry . . . even the very sound of them rings bells in the heart. The ordinary meaning is the same: my friends, my fellow travelers. But I have a very insistent feeling within me to give you the most pregnant words.

Those words are: Mehre hamsafar means “my fellow travelers.” Mehre hamdham means “my heart.” Mehre dost means “my friend.” But such a vast difference . . .

English has become more and more prose and less and less poetry, for the simple reason that it has been serving scientific and objective technological progress. It has to be definite, it cannot be poetic.

You cannot write mathematics into poetry; neither physics, nor chemistry. Because of this predominant factor of science and technology, English has lost its glamor, its splendor, its music. It has to gain it back, because the objective side of life is not enough. Unless your heart is moved, the words are not very much pregnant with meaning and significance.

These five days have been of immense significance. It can be said that almost never in the history of man has such a phenomenon happened. This has been the deep search of meditators for thousands of years that once a man becomes enlightened, once a man becomes full of light and knows his own eternity, he disappears into the ultimate, into the cosmos. He cannot come again through the womb of a woman. He has no desires, he has no longings. He no longer has any of the passions which drag human souls again and again to the birth and death cycle.

But once a man has gone beyond all these mind-produced desires, greed, and anger and violence, once one has come to the very center of his being, he is liberated. Liberated from himself, liberated from the body, liberated from the mind. For the first time he understands that the body will be only a prison. Now that his intuition has absolute clarity he can see that the body is nothing but disease and death – maybe a few moments of pleasure, which go on keeping you in the body in the hope that more pleasure… But soon one realizes, if one has intelligence, that those pleasures are very phenomenal, illusory, just made of the same stuff as dreams are made of.

The moment this recognition happens, your life energy simply opens its wings and flies into the open sky of the cosmos, to dissolve into the ultimate.

But Gautam Buddha is an exception.

In the form of a beautiful story, it is said that when Gautam Buddha died he reached the gates of paradise. There was so much ceremony to receive him, but he refused to enter. He insisted, “Until every human being passes through the gates of paradise I cannot come in. It is against my compassion.”

At the last moment of his death he has predicted that he will be coming back after twenty-five centuries. Of course, he can come only in one way, and that is to possess somebody’s body; the womb is no longer possible for him.

For seven weeks continuously I was witnessing a fire test. Each moment seemed to be the last, and each breath going out was not promising that it would be coming back. In those seven weeks, seven times my heart showed symptoms of failure.

My physician Amrito, at the seventh stroke thought that this was the end. I told him, “The cardiogram can show you how many beats I have missed, but it cannot show you that I am not the heart – I am the witness behind it. And my source of life is not the heart or the body; my source of life is existence itself. I trust in existence, and I trust that this seven weeks’ long dark night will end.”

I would have never told you, but due to Katue Ishida… a woman who has not known me, has just seen my picture and my eyes, and a woman who is a well-known seer and prophetess but rarely speaks. Very rarely people come to her ancient Shinto temple in the forest to ask questions, about their destinies, their future. And most of the time she remains silent; she speaks only when she feels, “Now existence is taking possession of me. I am not speaking; I am only allowing the existence to speak through me.”

My Japanese translator, Geeta, has been informing her of everything that has happened in these five tremendously meaningful days. Because of her prophecy that Gautam Buddha has taken possession of my body as a vehicle, I had to admit the truth. But I had also expressed to her that my individuality and Gautam Buddha’s individuality are twenty-five centuries apart. He was an individualist – I am a greater individualist. I can be the host, but the guest has to remember that he is not my master.

I have never accepted anybody as my master. It has taken me very long to find out myself, but I am immensely happy that I don’t have even to say a ‘thank you’ to anyone. The search has been absolutely alone, tremendously dangerous.

And there are opinions in which I am bound to differ from Gautam Buddha. Four days he stayed with me, and saw clearly that there is no possibility of any compromise.

Compromise always leads you away from the truth. Truth cannot be a compromise – either you know it or you don’t.

Geeta informed Ishida, and she was very much afraid: how will the woman feel? But the woman proved to be of tremendous power. She said, “It does not matter. I love your master and I absolutely agree to whatsoever has happened.” And then she suddenly started crying.

Geeta asked her, “Why are you crying?”

She said, “There are no words. For the first time… continuously, for five days, I have been speaking about your master, and I know nothing of him. I have not read his books, I have just seen his eyes, and a door within me has opened and almost like a flood I have been speaking. This is for the first time in my whole life…” She is in a hurry to come.

But the seven weeks’ fire, the long night of the soul proved to be a blessing in disguise. It has purified me completely. And these five days of Gautam Buddha as Maitreya Buddha – that was his prophecy, that “My name after twenty-five centuries when I come back again, will be Maitreya the Buddha.” The Friend – Maitreya means “the friend.”

It was significant on his part. He was saying, the world of the gurus has ended. The world of the masters and disciples will not be relevant anymore. The master can function only in the capacity of a loving friend. And the disciple has not to be a disciple, has not to surrender to anybody, he has just to listen to the Friend. It is up to him to decide what to do or not. No discipline can be given, no dictation can be given.

In the world of religion this is the beginning of democracy; otherwise, all religions have been dictatorial, fascist, fundamentalist.

I would like you to remember because you have been the witness of all these seven weeks and five days – seven weeks of a constantly deepening darkness, and these five days of the rising sun, of the morning glories, of the birds singing. Again a new beginning, not only in my individuality but also in the individualities of those who have taken the risk to be fellow-travelers with me.

A new dawn, a new man is absolutely needed. Perhaps you are the new man who will destroy all that is rotten and old, that is superstitious and has no roots in intelligence. Perhaps you will be the one to destroy all organized religions, because the moment truth is organized, it dies. […]

The function of the priest has not been to convert you into the hands of the cosmos. On the contrary, he has been in every way preventing you to open your eyes and see the stars, to open your ears and hear the breeze passing through the pine trees. He has not allowed you to see the beauty of the planet, the beauty of the skies. Neither has he been helpful to take you in your innermost being where is your eternal home. He has been exploiting.

The new man, the new humanity means individual religious people, not organized according to any dogma, doctrine, cult, but simply in tune with existence. And the only way to be in tune with existence is what we have called in the East, meditation, in which no priest is needed. You alone are enough unto yourself.

-Osho

From No Mind the Flowers of Eternity, Discourse #7

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Not Twoness

One summer day when I was Junior High School age, I must have been 13 or 14, I was sitting across the street from the house of two brothers who were friends of mine. They were eating lunch and I was waiting for them to finish so that we could continue on our day’s routine of playing in the neighborhood, riding our bikes, smoking in the woods, all the things that we liked to do.

While I was sitting on the ground under a big tree with stick in hand and drawing circles in the dirt, time stopped, and for a brief moment a window of nowness opened. In that moment, all movement of time came to a standstill, and I was being in the eternal now. It was as if a portal into reality had opened. I knew it was significant but that was all I knew. It only lasted a couple of moments, seconds probably, but it made a deep impression in my consciousness. Of course, at the time, I would not have used such terminology as eternal now, portal, consciousness. In fact, I didn’t even mention the experience to my friends when they came out of their house, but this was my first experience of what we could call Oneness. In that moment, there was no separation, no demarcation, only beingness, conscious beingness.

Looking back, I can see that this experience unconsciously became a litmus test, a North Star, that guided my life on through experimentation with drugs, psychedelics, and finally, to discovering meditation. I would be willing to bet that every one of us who has found themselves interested in a life of discovery, anyone who is reading this now, has had some brush with naked reality.

It is clear that this reality I stumbled upon is always present, it is only that most of the time I am not present to meet it and dissolve into it. Meditation has been the key to shining a light on what it is that is standing between my consciousness and this experience of nowness, and that is mind, thought. It is thought, the me, which obscures the perception of reality. It has been my experience that through meditation the movement of thought becomes illuminated. And it is this ‘seeing’ of thought that is the exit.

For many years following this first awakening, I was unconsciously searching to replicate that profound happening, beginning with becoming unconscious through alcohol. Unconsciousness is a type of oneness, as is sleep, but it is unconscious, and so is missing a key element of the experience that had happened years before. Next it was on to smoking marijuana, certainly much closer to the happening but dependent on a foreign substance, not a natural state. Then it was on to psychedelics, which were incredibly helpful in seeing how mind works, first in seeing thought in action, and then in seeing that I was the one who was supporting the movement of thought through identification.

This discovery of the workings of mind inevitably led to discovering meditation, first through the teachings and being of Meher Baba, and eventually, of course, to Osho.

I arrived in Poona in 1976 and every nook and corner of the Ashram was exuding Oneness. Upon entering the gate, one was absorbed into the vastness that lived in Lao Tzu house. We sang in Music Group and were lost in ecstasy. We did our groups and had glimpses of being outside of our little ego selves. We did the active meditations and rays of sunshine would find their way out from the center of our being. And, of course, we sat in discourse and darshan and the sun itself lovingly dismantled all the clouds obscuring the brilliance of our inner light, the Oneness within.

At the Ranch we witnessed Oneness in action. We saw what could happen when a group of meditators worked without the need for approval or compensation. We worked and loved the working, but this oneness was a group oneness, a collective. It did give us another opportunity to experience a certain type of oneness, but because it was a group oneness, it was a oneness that was by definition opposed to the ‘not group,’ to the outside, and therefore could not be sustainable, definitely could not be eternal.

It was after the Ranch that I realized I had to dive deep into inquiry, into meditation. I had to find that oneness that had been experienced so many years before for myself, without the aid of drugs or others. I had to rediscover exactly what was standing in the way of my own experiencing of oneness in this moment.

And so, it was time for doubling down on meditation. It was time to discover for myself what is this ‘witnessing’ that Osho keeps talking about. Do I really know for myself? And in this quest, I became deeply attracted to self-inquiry and the path of advaita, non-duality.

In one of the discourses where Osho is talking about advaita, he says something that had a strong impact on me. He says, and I am paraphrasing here, that advaita means not-two, and so it is easy to translate that as one, or oneness, but he says that there is a difference in how the two words or phrases feel or act on you. When you say or think the word ‘one’ or ‘oneness,’ there is a contraction, a solidification, it feels like an object. But when you say ‘not-two,’ there is a letting go, and so is a much better pointer to the actual experiencing of oneness.

Similarly, in a workshop that Jean Klein, a Western Advaita teacher gave in Boulder, Colorado, in one of those moments when meditation is exuding all around, I asked Jean, “So is this it, just more and more subtle?” And Jean responded, “I would say less and less conditioned.”

And that is the key. It is not that we need to be searching for this thing called ‘oneness,’ but that we have to simply see what it is that is preventing us from Being in this Eternal Now that we refer to as oneness, or perhaps better described as not twoness. And that takes me back to meditation.

By meditation, I mean closing my eyes, sitting in a not uncomfortable but alert position and watching whatever appears on the screen of my consciousness. Sometimes it is a cacophony, and sometimes it is just a meandering quiet stream. But whichever, I watch, and every time that I forget and I become aware that I have forgotten, I am back to watching. Slowly, slowly I discover how to watch without judging, without grasping, without rejecting, and without analyzing. And in this watchingness, the flow of traffic decreases and occasionally gaps appear, gaps in which there are no thoughts. And when there are no thoughts, there is no movement of time, there are no obstructions to experiencing this same Eternal Now that was stumbled upon so many years ago. But this time it is conscious, it is not accidental, and it does not depend on any circumstance, substance, or any other person. And these moments cannot but infuse our everyday life with more lightness of being.

-purushottama

This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Download a PDF or order the book Here.

Negative Projection, a Technique of Visualization – Osho

Mind itself means projection, so unless you transcend the mind, whatever you come to experience is projection. Mind is the projecting mechanism. If you experience any visions of light, of bliss, even of the divine, these are all projections. Unless you come to a total stopping of the mind you are not beyond projections; you are projecting. When mind ceases, only then are you beyond the danger. When there is no experience, no visions, nothing objective – the consciousness remaining as a pure mirror with nothing reflected in it – only then are you beyond the danger of projections.

Projections are of two types. One type of projection will lead you to more and more projection. It is a positive projection; you can never go beyond it. The other type of projection is negative. It is a projection, but it helps you to go beyond projections.

In meditation, you use the projecting faculty of the mind as a negative effort. Negative projections are good: it is just like one thorn being pulled out by another thorn or one poison being destroyed by another poison. But you must be constantly aware that the danger remains until everything ceases, even these negative projections, even these visions. If you are experiencing something, I will not say it is meditation; it is still contemplation, it is still a thought process. However subtle, it is still thinking. When only consciousness remains with no thought – just an unclouded, open sky – when you cannot say what “I” am experiencing, this much can be said: I am.

The famous maxim of Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum – I think; therefore, I am,” in meditation becomes “Sum ergo sum – I am; therefore, I am.” This “I am-ness” precedes all thinking; you are before you think. Thinking comes later on; your being precedes it, so being cannot be inferred from thinking. You can be without thinking, but thinking cannot be without you, so thinking cannot be the basis upon which your existence can be proved.

Experiences, visions, anything felt objectively is part of thinking. Meditation means total cessation of the mind, of thinking, but not of consciousness. If consciousness also ceases, you are not in meditation but in deep sleep; that is the difference between deep sleep and meditation.

In deep sleep projection also ceases. Thinking will not be there, but simultaneously, consciousness will also be absent. In meditation projections cease, thinking ceases, thoughts are no more there – just like in deep sleep – but there is consciousness. You are aware of this phenomenon: of total absence around you, of no objects around you. And when there are no objects to be known, felt and experienced, for the first time you begin to feel yourself. This is a nonobjective experience. It is not something that you experience; it is something you are.

So even if you feel the divine existence, it is a projection. These are negative projections. They help – they help, in a way, to transcend – but you must be aware that they are still projections, otherwise you will not go beyond them. That is why I say that if you feel you are encountering bliss, you are still in the mind because duality is there: the duality of the divine and the nondivine, the duality of bliss and nonbliss. When you really reach to the ultimate, you cannot feel bliss, because nonbliss is impossible; you cannot feel the divine as divine because the nondivine is no more.

So remember this: mind is projection, and whatever you do with the mind is going to be a projection. You cannot do anything with the mind. The only thing is how to negate the mind, how to drop it totally, how to be mindlessly conscious. That is meditation. Only then can you know, can you come to know, that which is other than projection.

Whatever you know is projected by you. The object is just a screen: you go on projecting your ideas, your mind, upon it. So any method of meditation begins with projection – with negative projection –and ends with nonprojection. That is the nature of all meditation techniques, because you have to begin with the mind.

Even if you are going toward a state of no mind, you have to begin with the mind. If I am to go out of this room, I have to start by going into the room; the first step must be taken in the room. This creates confusion. If I am just going in a circle in the room, then I am walking in the room. If I am going out of the room, then again I have to walk in the room – but in a different way. My eyes must be on the door and I must travel in a straight line, not in a circle.

Negative projection means walking straight out of the mind. But first, you have to take some steps within the mind.

For example, when I say “light,” you have never really seen light. You have only seen lighted objects. Have you ever seen light itself? No one has seen it; no one can see it. You see a lighted house, a lighted chair, a lighted person, but you have not seen light itself. Even when you see the sun you are not seeing light. You are seeing the light returned.

You cannot see light itself. When light strikes something, comes back, is reflected, only then do you see the lighted object and because you can see the lighted object, you say there is light. When you do not see the lighted object, you say it is dark.

You cannot see pure light, so in meditation I use it as a first step – as a negative projection. I tell you to begin to feel light without any object. Objects are dropped, there is just light. Begin to feel light without any objects . . . One thing has been dropped, the object, and without the object you cannot continue to see light for a long time. Sooner or later the light will drop, because you have to be focused on some object.

Then I tell you to feel bliss. You have never felt bliss without any object; whatever you know as happiness, bliss, is concerned with something. You have never known any moment of bliss that is unconcerned with anything. You may love someone and then feel blissful, but that someone is the object. You feel blissful when you listen to some music, but then that music is the object. Have you ever felt a blissful moment without any object? Never! So when I say to feel blissful without any object, it seems to be an impossibility. If you try to feel blissful without any object, sooner or later the bliss will stop, because it cannot exist by itself.

Then I say to feel divine presence. I never say, “Feel God,” because then God becomes an object. Have you ever felt presence without someone being present there? It is always concerned with someone: if someone is there, then you begin to feel the presence.

I drop that someone totally. I simply say, feel the divine presence. This is a negative projection. It cannot continue for long because there is no ground to support it; sooner or later it will drop. First I drop objects, and then, by and by, projection itself will drop. That is the difference between positive and negative projection.

In positive projection, the object is significant and the feeling follows, while in negative projection the feeling is important and the object is simply forgotten, as if I am taking the whole ground from under your feet. From within you, below you, from everywhere, the ground has been taken and you are left alone with your feeling. Now that feeling cannot exist; it will drop. If objects are not there, then the feelings that are directly connected to objects cannot continue any longer. For a while you can project them, then they will drop. And when they drop you alone remain there – in your total aloneness. That point is the point of meditation; from there meditation begins. Now you are out of the room.

So meditation has a beginning in the mind, but that is not real meditation. Begin in the mind, so that you can move toward meditation, and when mind ceases and you are beyond it, then real meditation begins. We have to begin with the mind because we are in the mind. Even to go beyond it, one has to use it. So use the mind negatively, never positively, and then you will achieve meditation.

If you use the mind positively, then you will only create more and more projections. So whatever is known as “positive thinking” is absolutely anti-meditative. Negative thinking is meditative; negation is the method for meditation. Go on negating to the point where nothing remains to be negated, and only the negator remains; then you are in your purity, and then you know what is. Everything that is known before that is just the mind’s imaginings, dreamings, projections.

-Osho

From Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy, Appendix 1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Character is Stagnant, Consciousness is a River – Osho

Why don’t you give your disciples a certain mode of conduct? Isn’t a moral character necessary for a spiritual life?

Mahendra Singh, my whole effort is to give you a consciousness, not a character. Consciousness is the real thing, character the false entity. Character is needed by those who don’t have consciousness. If you have eyes, you don’t need a walking-stick to find your way, to grope your way. If you can see you don’t ask others, “Where is the door?” Character is needed because people are unconscious. Character is just a lubricant; it helps you to run your life in a smooth way.

George Gurdjieff used to say character is like a buffer. Buffers are used in railway trains; between two compartments there are buffers. If something happens, those two compartments cannot clash with each other; these buffers prevent them from clashing with each other. Or it is like springs: cars have springs so you can move smoothly – even on an Indian road. Those springs go on absorbing the shocks; they are called shock absorbers.

That’s what character is: it is a shock absorber. People are told to be humble. If you learn how to be humble it is a shock absorber. By learning how to be humble you will be able to protect yourself against other people’s egos. They will not hurt you so much; you are a humble man. If you are egoistic you are bound to be hurt again and again. The ego is very sensitive, so you cover up your ego with a blanket of humbleness. It helps, it gives you a kind of smoothness, but it does not transform you.

My work consists of transformation. This is an alchemical school: I want to transform you from unconsciousness into consciousness, from darkness into light. I cannot give you a character; I can only give you insight, awareness. I would like you to live moment-to-moment, not according to a set pattern given by me or given by the society, the church, the state. I would like you to live according to your own small light of awareness, according to your own consciousness. Be responsive to each moment.

Character means you have a certain ready-made answer for all the questions of life, so whenever a situation arises you respond according to the set pattern. Because you respond according to the ready-made answer it is not a true response, it is only a reaction. The man of character reacts, the man of consciousness responds: he takes the situation in, he reflects the reality as it is, and out of that reflection he acts. The man of character reacts, the man of consciousness acts. The man of character is mechanical; robot-like he functions. He has a computer in his mind, full of information; ask him anything and a ready-made answer rolls down from his computer.

A man of consciousness simply acts in the moment, not out of the past and out of the memory. His response has a beauty, a naturalness, and his response is true to the situation. The man of character always falls short, because life is continuously changing; it is never the same. And your answers are always the same, they never grow – they can’t grow, they are dead.

You have been told a certain thing in your childhood; it has remained there. You have grown, life has changed, but that answer that was given by your parents or by your teachers or by your priests is still there. And if something happens you will function according to that answer which was given to you fifty years before. And in fifty years so much water has gone down the Ganges; it is a totally different life.

Heraclitus says: You cannot step in the same river twice. And I say to you: You cannot step in the same river even once; the river is so fast-flowing. Character is stagnant; it is a dirty pool of water. Consciousness is a river.

Mahendra Singh, that’s why I don’t give my people any code of conduct. I give them eyes to see, a consciousness to reflect, a mirror-like being to be able to respond to any situation that arises. I don’t give them detailed information about what to do and what not to do; I don’t give them Ten Commandments. And if you start giving them commandments then you cannot stop at ten, because life is far more complex.

In Buddhist scriptures there are thirty-three thousand rules for a Buddhist monk. Thirty-three thousand rules! For every possible situation that may ever arise, they have given a ready-made answer. But how are you going to remember thirty-three thousand rules of conduct? And a man who is cunning enough to remember thirty-three thousand rules of conduct will be clever enough to find a way out always; if he does not want to do a certain thing, he will find a way out. If he wants to do a certain thing, he will find a way out.

I have heard about a Christian saint: somebody hit him on his face, because just that day in his morning discourse he had said, “Jesus says if somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other.” And the man wanted to try it, so he hit him, really hit him hard on one cheek. And the saint was really true, true to his word: he gave him the other cheek.

But that man was also something: he hit even harder on the other cheek. Then he was surprised: the saint jumped on the man, started beating him so hard that the man said, “What are you doing? You are a saint, and just this morning you were saying that if somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other.”

He said, “Yes – but I don’t have a third cheek. And Jesus stops there. Now I am free; now I will do what I want to do. Jesus has no more information about it.”

It happened exactly like that in Jesus’ life also. Once he told a disciple, “Forgive seven times.”

The disciple said, “Okay.”

The way he said, “Okay,” Jesus became suspicious; he said, “Seventy-seven times I say.”

The disciple was a little disturbed, but he said, “Okay – because numbers don’t end at seventy-seven. What about seventy-eight? Then I am free, then I can do what I want to do!”

How many rules can you make for people? It is stupid, meaningless. That’s how people are religious, and still they are not religious: they always find a way to get out of those rules of conduct and commandments. They can always find a way through the back door. And character can at the most give you only a skin-deep, pseudo mask – not even skin deep: just scratch your saints a little bit and you will find the animal hidden behind. On the surface they look beautiful, but only on the surface.

I don’t want you to be superficial; I want you to really change. But a real change happens through the center of your being, not through the circumference. Character is painting the circumference; consciousness is transformation of the center.

Once a carpenter was working in a church and he hit his thumb with a hammer. “Fuck’s sake!” he yelled.

The Vicar happened to be passing and heard him. “You cannot use that kind of language here. This is a house of God,” he admonished.

“Pardon, Vicar, but what’s a man to say when he whacks his thumb with a hammer?”

“You can say, ‘God preserve me,’ or ‘Jesus help me,'” suggested the Vicar.

Later, when the carpenter was sawing a piece of wood, he sawed right through his finger, which dropped to the floor. “God preserve me!” cried the carpenter, and the finger jumped back upon the hand and healed itself.

“Fuck’s sake!” exclaimed the Vicar.

-Osho

From Be Still and Know, Discourse #6

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

The World Needs Masters – Osho

Can you explain the fine line between our trust in you and the saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him”?

There is no fine line. Unless you trust, you don’t have a Buddha, you don’t have a master.

Buddha has made the statement: “If you meet me on the way, kill me.” It is not said to those who don’t trust him, who don’t love him, who have not merged their identity with his being. Once you are in deep trust with a master, there is a danger that you may become so blissful with the merger of your identity with the master that you may not like to become enlightened on your own; hence, the statement.

The statement is saying that you are feeling so blissful, just being in tune with an awakened being, you don’t know how much more bliss is possible if you yourself become awakened. But to become awakened you will have to drop this identity. You will have to forget even the master. It is something about the inner journey. When a person is moving in meditation on the inner journey, the last thing is the master. It is easy to drop other ideas, other feelings; it is easy to drop greed, anger. But finally you come to a point when you have to drop the master too. That is the last barrier.

It is just in your mind. You have loved the man so much, your love has made it so difficult, that you would prefer to remain unenlightened than to drop the master. And a real master will say, “Drop me, so that you can also become a master in your own right.”

It happened in Ramakrishna’s life – and Ramakrishna was alive just in the last part of the preceding century, so he is not very far away, he is very close to us. He was a great devotee of the mother goddess, Kali. And it was not a formality, it was not just like going every Sunday to the church. He was the priest of the temple of Kali, but his behavior was strange. Sometimes he would worship, sometimes he would not open the doors of the temple at all. Sometimes he would worship the whole day, from morning to evening, till he fell down unconscious from dancing.

Rani Rasmani had made the temple near the Ganges in Calcutta – a beautiful temple and a very scenic place. But Rani Rasmani, although she was a queen of a small kingdom, belonged to the fourth caste of the Hindus, the untouchables. So no brahmin was ready to become a priest in the temple of an untouchable. For years there was no priest. Rasmani was very much in trouble. She looked all over Bengal; she was ready to give any salary the priest wanted, but no brahmin was ready to worship in a temple of a sudra, an untouchable.

But when Ramakrishna was approached, he said, “I will come.” Even Rasmani was a little puzzled: the man seems to be a little mad, because no brahmin was ready to come. Ramakrishna said, “Whether the temple is made by an untouchable or by a brahmin, the highest caste, the mother Kali is the same; it doesn’t matter. I am coming, and whatever salary you feel is right, must be right. I don’t know much about money – you are a queen; your decision will be far better.” When she heard that sometimes he dances, sings songs the whole day, and sometimes he does not even open the door, Rani Rasmani called him and said, “This is not right.”

He said, “Nobody can say to me what is right and what is wrong: it is a love affair. Only I know and my mother Kali knows. Sometimes I get angry at her when she does not behave. I have been for three days dancing, and she has not even given a little vision to me? Now let her be punished! I am not going to open the doors, and I am not going to offer the food.”

Rasmani said, “You are strange! You are supposed to be a priest – you have to do the ritual.” He said, “I am not a priest, and I am not supposed to do any ritual. I love! I love the Kali in my village. I will continue; if you are worried you can stop my salary… because when I prepare food for Kali, first I taste it, then I offer it to her. So that’s enough, I don’t need much – I can just taste a little more!”

This was unimaginable. In India you cannot taste anything and then offer it to God, or to a goddess. Rasmani said, “This is too much!”

He said, “No. My mother used to do the same. She would taste everything before she gave it to me. Was it worth giving or not? Has the taste come out right or not? I cannot offer anything to my mother without tasting it.”

This man, Ramakrishna, was really in love with that statue. Nobody was there, but his love was real. The goddess was unreal, but his love was not unreal.

One wandering mystic came to the temple and said to Ramakrishna, “You have not yet attained to the ultimate consciousness, and I can see you are capable of it. You are very close to it. Only one thing is blocking the way: this mother goddess, Kali. You love her too much. She does not exist, but your love certainly exists. And you have created a great image of her. You have dropped everything else from your mind, you are ready to reach to ultimate samadhi, ultimate ecstasy, but you will have to cut off the head of Kali.”

Ramakrishna said, “That is a little hard. Killing one’s own mother? – what are you saying? I would rather remain unenlightened. And anyway, the moment I close my eyes I see her; she is so beautiful and so alive, I cannot do this.”

But the mystic insisted. He said, “I have never come across a man who is so close – just one step!”

Ramakrishna was a simple man. He said, “Then you will have to help me, because when I close my eyes, I will not remember you. And Kali is standing before me, so gorgeous, so beautiful! And it is such an immense bliss to see her, I completely forget.”

Many times, he tried. He would close his eyes, and soon he was swaying, as if from an inner dance. And the mystic would say, “Wake up! Don’t forget what I have said.” Ramakrishna would open his eyes and say, “But this seems to be impossible.” Then the mystic found a way. He brought a piece of glass, really sharp, like a knife, and he said, “I will do one thing: I will just cut your forehead with this piece of glass. It will be painful, but it will remind you. The same way, you cut the mother Kali.”

Ramakrishna said, “Let us try.”

The mystic cut Ramakrishna’s forehead and the mark remained all his life. Blood started flowing, the pain was intense, and he remembered: with great courage, he cut the image of Kali in two parts – it was just in his imagination – and Kali fell in two parts. And he went into transcendental ecstasy. It took six days to wake him up, he was so deep in ecstasy. And the mystic said, “Don’t disturb him.”

After six days he was awakened, and his first words were, “The last barrier has fallen! I am grateful to you,” he said to the mystic. “If you had not insisted, I would have remained happy, but now I know what bliss is. It is a millionfold more.”

That is the meaning of Gautam Buddha’s saying. It is not for all, because you don’t have that love.

When you go inside you will not find Gautam Buddha. You may find all kinds of idiots there: the attorney general of Oregon, Governor Atiyeh, Ronald Reagan – anybody.

The statement is not for you. The statement is for those who had loved Buddha so much that Buddha knew that they could drop everything else, but they could not drop him. So he had to say, “When you meet me on the way” – that way is the inner way – “just chop my head off, so that you can become an enlightened person on your own.” And that is the joy of a master, to see his disciple also becoming a master.

This is the meaning when I say that this commune is a mystery school. The effort is to have everyone become a master; just disciplehood won’t do. I want you all to be masters. The world needs masters. Only a great energy of masters around the world can prevent the catastrophe of a third world war, which is looming on the horizon.

So it is not only a question of your enlightenment. It is also a question of the life or death of this whole planet.

-Osho

From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #26

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Without any Breaks – Annamalai Swami

Q: Are there no breaks at all in the jnani’s awareness of the Self? For example, if he is engrossed in reading a good book, will his full attention ‘be always on the book? Will he simultaneously be aware that he is the Self?

AS: If there are breaks in his Self-awareness this means that he is not yet a jnani. Before one becomes established in this state without any breaks, without changes, one has to contact and enjoy this state many times. By steady meditation it finally becomes permanent.

It is very difficult to attain Self-abidance, but once it is attained it is retained effortlessly and never lost. It is a little like putting a rocket into space. A great effort and great energy are required to escape the earth’s gravitational field. If the rocket is not going fast enough, gravity will pull it back to earth. But once it has escaped the pull of gravity it can stay out in space quite effortlessly without falling back to earth…

-Annamalai Swami

From Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 284

They Danced, They Found, They Absorbed – Osho

Each master has to create devices according to his own talents, capacities, genius.

For example, one of the great Sufi masters, Jalaluddin Rumi, had nothing to say, he was not a man of words – but he knew how to dance. His discourse was that of dancing. He would dance, his disciples would dance, and a certain dancing which is called “whirling” … just standing on one spot and whirling. This dancing had made him enlightened, because he whirled for thirty-six hours, continuously, non-stop, till he fell down. But when he opened his eyes, he was a totally different man.

Whirling still goes on. There are dervishes, Sufi followers of Jalaluddin Rumi, who still go on whirling – nothing happens. It was only a device. With Jalaluddin Rumi it was alive; the man gave life to it. With him, dancing was not just dancing. Whirling with Jalaluddin Rumi, you were all slowly becoming stars circling in the sky, and with his grace, with his beauty and with his experience radiating.

Truth is infectious, and there is no antidote to it yet.

For twelve hundred years, dervishes have been whirling; nothing happens. You can go on whirling, but you have forgotten that the whirling was significant because there was a man as a source of radiation – while you were whirling, he was reaching to your hearts.

A story is that a few people had gone hunting and they came across the camp of Jalaluddin Rumi. Just out of curiosity they looked inside the doors. It was a walled garden, and nearabout one hundred disciples were whirling with Jalaluddin Rumi. Those people thought, “These are mad people. Who has ever heard that by whirling you can get truth? In what scripture, in what religion is it written? There is no record. This man is mad, and he is driving so many young people mad.”

They went on. Hunting was far more significant. Obviously it was saner than to dance with Jalaluddin Rumi.

After their hunting, they went back. Just out of curiosity about what had happened to the whirlers, they again looked into the door. They were surprised: those hundred people were sitting under the trees in silence, with closed eyes, as if there was nobody – absolute silence; you could hear the wind blowing through the trees.

Those hunters said, “Poor fellows… finished. This happens by whirling – all energy lost. Now they are sitting like the dead; perhaps a few are already dead.”

Do you think they started discussing amongst themselves whether these people had achieved truth? If sitting like this with closed eyes… “What was the need of whirling, you could have sat before.” They went away.

The next month, they went again for hunting. Again, just out of curiosity – “Now what happened to those people – are they really dead, or still sitting, or gone, or what happened?” They looked. There was nobody, only Jalaluddin Rumi was sitting there. They laughed. They said, “Everybody has escaped; they must have understood that this man is mad. He was almost killing them by dancing, whirling. He seems to be an expert, thirty-six hours non-stop… anybody would be dead by that time! No coffee break, no tea break, just continuous whirling….”

So they went in and asked Jalaluddin Rumi, “What happened to your disciples? We had come one month ago and there was a group of at least one hundred people.”

Jalaluddin said, “They danced, they found, they absorbed, and they have gone into the world to spread the message.”

“And what are you doing?” they asked.

He said, “I am waiting for the second batch. My people have gone out; they will be bringing them.”

-Osho

From Osho Upanishad, Discourse #27

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Religio is a Living Rose – Osho

What is the difference between religion, religiousness and religio?

The difference is simple, yet very vast. The difference is that of a dead rose you find in a Holy Bible. It has lost its color, lost its fragrance, lost its life. It is just a rose for name’s sake. Otherwise there is nothing of the rose in it. It looks like a rose.

Once it may have been a rose, may have danced in the wind, in the rain, in the sun. It may have released fragrance without any conditions to anybody, to strangers or if there was nobody, even just to the winds. But now it is just past, a memory, faded. Religion is like that, a dead rose found in the Holy Bible.

Religio is a living rose: fully alive, totally alive, intensely alive, with immense glory, expressing the beauty of existence, very individual and unique… unrepeatable, irreplaceable, radiant. It is full of juice and full of fragrance, a miracle. It is a mystery from where it comes, because it is not in the roots, it is not in the tree, it is not in the leaves. And yet the living rose is surrounded by a mysterious aura of fragrance. It stands in the sun with great pride. That pride is not of the ego, it is authentic. It is true. He is what he is showing to existence — his color, his aliveness, his fragrance — these are not pretensions. It is his reality.

Religio is the living flower, and religiousness is the fragrance. You can experience it, you can smell it, but you cannot catch hold of it. You cannot catch hold of it in words, in explanations, in definitions. It defies any kind of imprisonment. It is pure freedom. That’s why I say the difference is simple, but vast, like the difference between a living man and his corpse. Simply: The living man breathes, loves, dances, sings, rejoices: the corpse does not do anything. It goes on deteriorating, it starts stinking. It is the same corpse whom you may have loved, whom you may have desired, whom you may have respected, honored. Now all that you can do is take it to the crematorium.

Religion is a corpse. Religio is a living being. And life has love, laughter, the possibility of all kinds of creativity. It can give birth to songs, beautiful, transcendental songs which can bring into words that which is almost impossible to express, songs which can be given live to a living audience from a living singer. Between the singer and the listener something can transpire which is not in the words, in the song, or in the music, but something by the side — on the margin — invisible, yet it reaches to the heart. The living man can dance. His body can rejoice in a thousand and one ways. That is religiousness.

So the difference is simple, but vast, tremendously vast. And the time has come when there should be no religions in the world, because their corpses have been carried for thousands of years. They are all stinking. They are all rotten. And under the load of those rotten corpses, living beings have completely forgotten how to live.

If you go on living with corpses, worshipping corpses, you will lose contact with life and its sources. You have become a worshipper of death. All the religions are teaching death. That’s why they all say that their paradise is beyond death. First you have to die, then everything else is possible. But the first step is death in every religion.

No religion teaches you the art of living. They teach you hope, promises, but all hope and all promises are after death and there is no guarantee because no dead man ever returns.

It is time that religions should be taken to the place where they belong, the graveyard. They have been turning human beings into graves. And once we can get rid of religions, then we can start searching for religio. Religion prevents the search. You think you have got it, hence there is no need for any search.

Religio is an individual growth; it is not an organization, but a mystery that you have to unfold. You have brought it with you from the very birth, but you have not opened it. You have not allowed it to see the light. It has remained like a seed which has not been sown in the right soil where it can become a living plant, can grow, can come to fruition and flowering.

Religio is the search for truth within yourself. Finding it is the most glorious and the most ecstatic experience possible. And one who finds it is surrounded by fragrance, by an aura, by a subtle quality of love, compassion. That is religiousness. I want to destroy religions so that religiousness can become possible.

Religio is the bridge. Deprogram yourself from all religions and start moving into an individual search. Truth has always been found by individuals, not by collectivities, not by clubs, not by churches. Have you heard of any congregation in the whole history of humanity that has found truth? It always happens to an individual. Then why waste your time in congregations? They are just a religious type of rotary clubs. And a rotary club is not so dangerous, because you know it is just a club. But your churches, your synagogues, your mosques, your temples are dangerous because they are pretending to you that they have the truth. You believe in it, that’s all that is needed to be done. A man who believes in religions remains unaware of religio, and remains absolutely unconscious of all the religiousness that was his birthright. He lives and dies, but without splendor, without glory, without fulfillment.

-Osho

From The Last Testament, V.3, Chapter 23

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.